We have real-life video evidence of Gio Lo Celso training with the group, as provided by Javi Mata.
In a season that has often teetered on the edge of total collapse, the general absence of the Argentine midfielder has been felt severely. Lo Celso has accumulated just 521 minutes in league football this season, which is only just more than half what he provided after a January move last campaign.
Lo Celso torna al grup pic.twitter.com/wx4QaokI5G— Javi Mata (@javimatagil) February 22, 2023
When available and on the pitch, Lo Celso has been good for Villarreal, especially as a ball progressor. Whether you compare his numbers of progressive carries and passes (from his time at Villarreal) to midfielders or forwards (as the wide role he’s played in a 4-4-2 is a bit of a grey area between the two) he is up in the highest percentiles, as he is with successful take-ons.
He also has excellent ball retention numbers which should fit well into Sétien’s system (if we can call what we’ve seen on the pitch a system). This is all true despite the fact that for most of his limited minutes this season he’s been on the left, which severely limits his offensive contribution.
A healthy Gio Lo Celso is a big boost to Villarreal, and frankly they are a club that needs all the help they can get at the moment. Hopefully for Villarreal as a whole, the squad rounding into health leads to the club rounding into form as they make a push in multiple competitions the remaining stages of the season.